News and Events

Study proposes annual GP skin exam for patients at high risk for melanoma

13 August 2015

This study "confirms the benefits of developing a targeted screening strategy in primary care", according to its authors. They highlight that, in particular, "after the annual reminder, patient participation and the diagnosis of melanoma remained high in the patients at elevated risk of thick melanomas".

Unmet supportive care needs and distress among NMSC patients

11 August 2015

Despite NMSC not being life threatening in most cases, there is a significant proportion of patients who have unmet supportive care needs and experience heightened distress levels, according to authors of a recent study. They conclude that the study raises awareness for health care professionals to be vigilant about the supportive care needs and the psychological health of patients with non-melanoma skin cancer.

Further evidence of genetic key to melanoma

7 August 2015

University of Leeds researchers, working with colleagues from the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Brisbane, have uncovered further evidence that protective buffers at the ends of chromosomes - telomeres - are fundamental to the understanding of melanoma.

New NICE melanoma guideline: vitamin D and SLN biopsy included

6 August 2015

NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) in the UK has published its new guidance for the assessment and management of melanoma in children, young people and adults. The guideline, which covers the full pathway of care, includes recommendations on managing low vitamin D levels and the use of sentinel lymph node biopsy for staging.

Univadis access available to New Zealand doctors

5 August 2015

MSD New Zealand Ltd has recently announced the availability to New Zealand doctors of Univadis, a free medical education and health information website for healthcare professionals.

Europe approves pembrolizumab for advanced melanoma

22 July 2015

Professor Antoni Ribas, a featured speaker at the upcoming Melanoma Summit in Auckland 6-7 November, hopes that “drug regulatory agencies around the world act fast on approving pembrolizumab for front-line therapy for metastatic melanoma”. His reported comments relate to the European Commission’s recent approval of pembrolizumab (Keytruda) for the treatment of unresectable or metastatic melanoma for both previously treated and untreated patients.

A link between high citrus consumption and melanoma?

18 July 2015

Citrus consumption was associated with an increased risk of malignant melanoma in two cohorts of women and men, according to recent study results. Nevertheless, as identified by the authors and an accompanying editorial, further research is needed before current dietary advice to the public is modified.

New test improves melanoma monitoring

14 July 2015

A QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute scientist has found new markers for melanoma which may allow the disease to be accurately monitored via a routine blood test. Mitchell Stark from QIMR Berghofer’s Oncogenomics group said the new biomarkers could be ideally suited for monitoring tumour progression in patients diagnosed with early metastatic disease.

Two-fold variation in melanoma rates between DHBs

13 July 2015

A two-fold variation in crude and age-standardised rates (ASR) in melanoma incidence over a recent five-year period exists between DHBs, according to a new on-line Atlas in Healthcare Variation domain developed by the Health Quality & Safety Commission of New Zealand. The finding “suggests that factors other than age influence rates of melanoma incidence”.